Smelly Danielly

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Now that Elise is back on maternity leave, we can start having adventures again which I am most excited about. First on the list of things to do was to check out Fiona’s Playdate Cafe. Elise suggested checking it out and now that we have I want to go back all the time.

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The premise behind it is a safe and fun place for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to play and interact while Mom and friends chat and drink coffee or get a bit of work done.

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We got there at about 10am and the kids had the place to themselves. Elise and I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and muffin while Matteo and Evelyn ran around exploring everything.

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They have couches for you to sit on and relax or tables for you to enjoy a snack or work on a laptop.

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Evelyn giving Matteo tickles. DYING

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Some of the toys inlcude a play kitchen, lego, trucks and cars. They have slides and tents and a reading corner. They have a separate section for babies with bouncy chairs and age appropriate toys and on the particular day we went they had a bouncy castle set up!

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Matteo got a lesson in puzzle pieces from one of the other kids who came to play. So cute.

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We spent about an hour and a half there before it got really busy and the kids started to get tired. They had a great time playing and we really enjoyed being able to drink our tea while it was still warm! It’s nice to be able to sit and watch them with out having to worry or chase them around.

Now that I know a place like this exists I want to hang out there all the time. I wish there were more of these types of “playdate cafes”. Maybe there are and I just don’t know about them?

If you have a baby, toddler, or preschooler I highly suggest checking out Fiona’s Playdate Cafe!

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We once again participated in Dine Out Vancouver this year. This time around we went to La Buca located on the westside of Vancouver. It was not at all what I expected. I only briefly checked out the website and thought it was a fairly large and fancy establishment. Turns out it was very cute and intimate, which is right up my ally. The restaurant was actually so small that you had to walk through their kitchen to get to the bathroom, which seemed wrong and intrusive but at the same time real neat because you got to see how a really commercial kitchen works. That was a neat experience.

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Tradition states Gina gets to pick the restaurant every year because Chad will go along with anything she chooses (but will not go along with anything I chose) so it’s the only way we get to eat anything other than Italian food. Although this year she threw him a bone with La Buca.

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The great thing about the menu was that the restaurant was very flexible. You could chose either 3 or 4 courses and you could chose any 3 or 4 items that you wanted. Chad went for 3 savory dishes, Dario went for 3 savories and a dessert and Gina and I did the traditional Appetizer, Main, Dessert.

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That moment when your Compare chooses a wine because the name of it is very similar to his construction company.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that going out for dinner and having everyone around you drink delicious wine while you can not is super painful.

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My first course was Risotto Verde. I have a love hate relationship with Pesto in that I really want to love it but a lot of times I don’t. This time around however it was freaking delicious. And those prawns! Totally threw me back to dining in Italy.

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My main dish was roasted duck because I have a weakness for all things duck. It was a toss up between the duck and the trout because I also have a weakness for trout but the duck and accompanying sides was mouth watering.

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The three of us who ordered dessert all ordered the roasted pear with sour cream ice cream. As you can see I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture. I wish I had second and thirds it was so good.

Overall it was an excellent dinner and a great night out. I would highly recommend La Buca for it’s food and atmosphere. We had a great experience!

It was a long night in the hospital, mostly because I kept thinking we would be able to go home and then we weren't. Matteo's cold seemed extra rough on him so we brought him in and they treated him for asthma. Crazy pants has a puffer now and is doing mu
The past week as been an interesting one.

Matteo caught another cold. No big deal I thought. He always seems to handle them so well. I mean that, of course, in a relative manner. Yes he can be miserable, but from a health perspective, a breathing perspective, he has always gotten through them without much difficulty.

There was a lot of worry surrounding his home coming almost two years ago, that any sort of cold or flu would be difficult for him to get through or would affect his lungs more so than the average kid. Be it the back up of CPAP or the fact that we had a nurse who checked him out a few times a week, but there was never any real concern when he did get sick.

For the past year we have been with out CPAP and we have been without a nurse and Matteo has gotten sick, but so far it hasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.

A few weeks ago he caught his first cold of the year and after waking up in the middle of the night coughing like mad and choking on mucus we brought him in to our family doctor who checked him out and said there was nothing to worry about. He had a virus but his lungs sounded clear; it was all in his upper airway.

This time around it seemed to be the same old thing. A runny nose, a cough, nothing we haven’t been through before. But on Wednesday Matteo’s respiratory rate was really high and his breathing just seemed off. I’m not one to run to the doctor every time my kid has a runny nose but there was something about his breathing that seemed different and I didn’t want to regret not taking him in to the doctor just because I am stubborn. Thankfully our family doctor was able to see us that afternoon.

I went in expecting the usual – he has a cold but sounds good – but that’s not what I got. He was also concerned about his respiratory rate and suggested I take him to the local hospital for further investigation. If his suggestion was to go to the hospital there was no point in going anywhere other than Children’s, given his history. So off we went.

Emergency was packed, as it usually is after dinner, but because of Matteo’s history and the breathing issues he was presenting, we got in right away. Part of me was expecting to see the doctor, get some meds, and then to go home but that wasn’t the case.

The problem is I don’t ask questions, I just take everything for face value. I wish I had asked what the plan was and what the expect timeline was so that I could have prepared myself better. I guess I know better for next time (if God forbid there ever be a next time). Long story short they treated Matteo for asthma. He was given some steroids for his lungs and a puffer and was monitored throughout the night. He had to go a minimum of 3 hours without needing to use the puffer before he could be released. While his lungs continued to improve throughout the night we weren’t released until 9am the next morning.

Thankfully we were placed in a room in the back of emergency where patients stay if they need to be monitored for an extended period of time. It was quiet and Matteo slept. Initially we thought we’d be able to go home at 2am, but when we realized that wasn’t going to happen the doctor suggested one of us go home and get some rest. The obvious choice was Chad because there was no way I was going to leave and he hadn’t slept in 2 days anyways so he was already a walking zombie. As much as I knew he needed to go home to sleep, I hated being there all by myself without him.

The next morning my Mom came and picked us up so Chad could continue to sleep and Matteo could hang out with her while I napped. But of course, I was running on adrenaline and couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me.

Matteo went home with his puffer, which we administered throughout the day according to a per-determined schedule. He continued to improve as the day went on. He has to continue to use the puffer for a week and then only as needed. The hospital stay  totally screwed him up and he has been out of sorts since then. He won’t fall asleep unless I rub his back for 30 minutes. Random things set him off into a state of hysterics. Nothing calms him down expect to watch his favorite YouTube video and a pack of fruit snacks. It’s been a real gong show around here.

I’m sure everything will go back to normal very soon. I’m glad that evening is behind us. While logically I knew there was nothing truly dire about his situation, at 3 am, with no sleep, you start to think the worst. You think he’s going to be admitted to the hospital for an extended stay. You think he is going to have to go back on CPAP. You think every possible horrible thing you can.

I don’t know that Matteo has technically been diagnosed as having asthma, but if that is the worst thing that he comes out of all of this with, then I don’t care. The fact that he has never been on any medication or puffers up until this point has astonished every doctor and nurse who has seen him, given his medical past.

The shinning point in the whole ordeal was that the ER doctor told us we did the right thing in bringing him in. As with doctor visits, I don’t want to run to the hospital for every little thing, so it’s nice to know we made the right decision when the situation called for it.

I would never label Matteo as a “medically fragile child” but the fact of the matter is he is not like every other kid, and while we have been lucky up until now, we do always have to be vigilant. I’m glad everything worked out for the best this time.

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Matteo is not a fan of drinking out of a pouch. There are many products these days that jam fruits and vegetables and pureed foods into a pouch and kids just eat them up. Matteo is not one of those kids.

When we were approached to take part in a photo shoot for gnubees, a fun, nutrient rich on-the-go-drink, I was thrilled to participate, but wondered how Matteo would actually take to the product. In three word, he loved it.

I’m not one for gimmicks, and I’m not one to go out and buy trendy kid related food products because they are usually expensive and if you have a picky eater it’s really a toss up as to whether or not your money was well spent. But, what sealed the deal for me was when Matteo got sick with a cold. He was in a horrible mood. He would not eat or drink anything, except his favorite orange flavored gnubees.

Knowing that gnubees is packed full of a ridiculous amount of vitamins, minerals, and general goodness put my mind at easy. He ate nothing else for almost a week, but that was OK because he was getting everything he needed right in those little packs of delicouisness.

What’s another great thing to love about them? They are made locally!

Needless to say, our family is now on the gnubees bandwagon. They are the go to beverage of choice when fussy Mr. Fuss Pot just wont eat anything else. They have become a life saver during this cold and flu season.

Note: We received a selection of gnubees drinks in exchange for photos used for promotional purposes. This review was done on my own accord as I was so impressed with the product. All words and opinions shared are my own.
19. 01. 2016

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My lovely cousin left yesterday on a 3+ month adventure hiking across New Zealand. In an effort to discover happiness and herself she has ventured out to do something most of us only dream of doing.

We spent the day together last Thursday before she left and she showed me some of the hikes she’d be doing and photos of the mountain passes she would explore. It looked absolutely stunning. I thought about how amazing it would be to take off on this adventure with her but then I remember I get home sick way to easily and I wouldn’t be able to survive in the wilderness because my bright pink fleece security blanket would take up most of the space in my backpack leaving little room for necessities. Plus, can you imagine me carrying a 50lbs pack on my back? Me neither.

While she may shake her head at the description I think she is nothing short of brave to leave behind everything she has known to go on this adventure by herself. This is something I could never do. Clearly, since I still sleep with a security blanket.

Melissa will be documenting her journey on her blog Walkabout Wonder. I highly recommend you follow along. She takes stunning photos and posts artwork she creates for purchase. If you would like to know when she posts you can also follow her on her Facebook page Walkabout Wonder.

I am so excited to see what life has in store for her.